(The tattoo once read 'Winona Forever'!)
I know forever seems like a long time but if you are a bottle of Madeira, a lifetime is a VERY long time. The oldest wine we have in the store is from the 1850 harvest and we have an incredible selection of Vintage Madeira in the store at all times.
You can’t call yourself a wine lover if you have never tried Madeira. I remember the first time that I tasted a vertical selection of Madeira at the Great Wine Seminar put on by the biggest collector of Madeira on Earth Dr. Robert Maliner. I was stunned at the wines’ complexity and the layers of flavors and aromas that continued to rise from the glass for hours.
After this tasting I began a search looking for all the old Madeira that I could find, and Wine Watch now has one of the largest collections of Madeira that you can find in the United States of America. We host an annual event with Dr. Maliner every year now as we are trying to help our good friend drink through his stash of some of the oldest wines on the planet. This year we have three Madeira wines pre-1900, the oldest going all the way back to 1835 vintage!
I had a chance to visit the island of Madeira in the summer of 2019 and it was the highlight of my trip to Portugal. Our best wine tasting was at the house of D’Olivier and for those of you that missed the review the first time it was sent out I have included it on this e-mail along with all the Madeira wines that we have in store.
The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $995 + tax and our good friend Dr. Robert Maliner will be here to tell the story of these ancient bottles. For reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail email@example.com.
VINTAGE MADEIRA TASTING BACK TO 1835
WITH SPECIAL GUEST DR. ROBERT MALINER
Thursday, December 29, 2022
1835 Blandy Solera Sercial Madeira
1905 D’Oliveiras Vintage Verdelho Madeira
1899 Leacock Vintage Terrantez Madeira
1899 D’Oliveiras Vintage Terrantez Madeira
NV Barbeito Bastardo Riserva Quatro Pipasa Madeira (500cc)
1927 Leacock Vintage Bastardo Madeira
1904 D’Oliveiras Vintage Bual Madeira
1907 D’Oliveiras Vintage Malvazia Madeira bottled in 1979
Selection of Cheese and Charcuterie
Frozen Foie Gras served over Tomato Aspic and Beef Consume
Grilled Prawns with Madeira butter and Zucchini Fettucini
Bual Mole Chicken served with black bean dirty rice
Deep Dish Double Chocolate Chip Bourbon Pecan Pie
The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $995 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Periera D'Oliveira was one of the highlights of not only our recent trip to Madeira but the entire journey to Portugal. We landed in Lisbon and spent two nights there walking around the city exploring the top restaurants. We moved on to Alentejo for three nights staying at the Convento Do Espinheiro. Then we drove up to the Douro for another three nights, staying at Ramos Pinoto, Quinta la Rosa and The Vineyard House each for one evening. On to Oporto for two nights staying in two of the nicest hotels in Portugal, The Intercontinental and the Yeatman which has the best view of any hotel we stayed at during our journey. Finally, to the island of Madeira where we stayed at the famous Reids Palace for our last two nights.
The food scene is excellent and for those of you planning a trip Portugal here is a list of the top places we dined: Cipriani (Madeira Funchal ) Il Gallo D'Oro (Madeira Funchal) Wish (Oporto), Quinta La Rosa (Douro) you can stay here also but the restaurant is one of the best in the Douro, DOC (Douro), Vintage House (Douro) This is the top Hotel in the Douro owned by the Yeatman group, Esporao (the biggest winery in Alentejo and one of the up and coming star chefs of Portugal), Convento Do Espinheiro (this is a resort in Alentejo and the restaurant is amazing), Pesca (Lisbon), Quermesse (Lisbon), Alma (Lisbon), Cevicheria (Lisbon), Tapisco (Lisbon).
Truly the highlight of our entire trip was our visit at Pereira D'Olivera which was hosted by Luis D'Oliveira who represents the fifth generation of family ownership. Luis was a most gracious host treating us to 24 Madeira wines back to 1875! We tasted through the entire range of Madeira and Luis invited us back the next day to see the families newest acquisition Arthur Barros e Sousa which is right next door to their busy cantina on the Rue dos Ferreiros in one of the signature buildings of the city center, a warehouse with antique lines built in 1619 located in the heart of the wine producing region of Funchal.
Although Luis is getting older and is almost ready to hand over the family business to the sixth generation Anibal's son Filipe D'Oliveira who has been in charge of oenology and wine production since 2002, Luis still comes to work every day. The oenologist at D'Oliveira has always been a family member making them unique not only in the world of Madeira but in the entire fine wine world, I can't think of another wine producing family anywhere in the world that has had such a long lineage of family memebers who have maintained control of wine production. This continuity has enabled D'Oliveira to ensure the wines their secular identity since the firm’s inception in 1850.
The company was a merger of two companies belonging to the parents of Joao Periera D'Oliveira (1850) and Joao Joaquim Camacho (1870). Since that time they have aquired four madeira wine companies: in 1953 julio Augusto Cunha (founded in 1820), in 1983 Vasco Luis Pereira (founded in 1890), in 2001 Adegas do Torreao (founded 1949) and in 2013 Arthur Barros e Sousa (founded 1921).
Luis's father was against exporting their wines from the island and thus until 1986 all D'Oliveira wines were sold exclusively at the cellar door. This enabled them to maintain a huge stock of old wines during the 1930's, 1940's, 1950's and 1960's they only sold 20% of the wines produced each year leaving the remaining 80% of production to be held in cash for decades. They currently have the largest stock of older vintage Madeira aka Frasqueira on earth.
The 5, 10 and 20-year wines made from the common Tinta Negra varietal are not what this great house hangs its hat on. They have made their reputation on the noble varietals like; Sercial, Verdelho, Terrantez, Bual and Malvasia. One of the most unique characteristics of the D'Oliveira Frasqueira wines is their unparalleled concentration. These wines sit in the old oak casks at room temperature for upwards of 100 years for some. The offering of wines at their Rue dos Ferreiros warehouse, the only one of their four warehouses used for aging their wines that is currently open to the public, is dazzling and they offer an apparently endless selection of vintage wines going all the way back to 1850- the year that the house was founded!!
The multiple listings of vintages and varietals are incredible and although they offer over 40 different wines for sale there are at least that many or more that are in cask awaiting the family’s approval before they are bottled and released for sale. They should have invented the saying "we will sell no wine before it's time" as they truly mean it! Unlike many other firms who buy aged wines from other houses D'Oliveira only sells wines that are aged in their warehouses thus enduring their style and authenticity. The first region in the world to be regulated was the Douro, which Madeira followed shortly after and when the bottles have the seal from the government of Portugal this ensures that the grapes in the bottle came from that harvest. Madeira wines have been regulated by the government over 100 years before any other wine region in Europe!